Posts Tagged ‘euphonix mc color

02
Jul
10

the tao of color grading

Fellow FCP-L’er, ColorList’er and FXPHD classmate Patrick Inhofer has launched a new website The Tao of Color Grading.  Previously, I was only aware of Patrick’s fini.tv site so this is a solid step up into the online training business.

He’s running a special offer for the first training series covering the Euphonix MC Color control panel.  I have had great experiences corresponding and learning with Patrick over the years and wish him the best in this new endeavor.

And as you can see, Patrick knows a thing or two about how to grade which makes The Tao of Color Grading inherently worth checking out.

proactively • peter

Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s new rules

None of the manufacturers listed above are paying Peter Salvia to write this article and, so far, none have sent him any samples or demonstration items.  Peter is a B&H Sales Affiliate and receives a commission from items linked to B&H and purchased through this site.  Oh yeah, and he’s an Apple Certified Trainer so you can derive his bias for yourself.

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16
Dec
09

how long to grade a show using apple color?

For the quick answer, scroll to the end of this post.  For the narrative thread, read on…

Kerry Soloway of Nightingale Editorial in Ringwood, NJ started a great thread on Steve Hullfish’s ColorList:

Subject: [ColorList] How much additional time will it take to round-trip a show in Color?

Although I have Color and use is on occasion, I have stayed away from it because of my perception that it adds a great deal of time to my edits as opposed to using the three-way color corrector within FCP.

The color corrector is one of the only reasons that I ever opt to online on an Avid Symphony rather than in Final Cut, since I can do all of my work in the timeline.

For those of you that use it regularly, can you estimate the amount of additional time that it adds to onlining a project? Also, how much additional storage space is required.

At the moment, I am editing mostly half-hour SD shows being edited either in DVCPro50 or PreResHQ, depending on the system that I’m on.

Kerry

Terrence Curren of AlphaDogs in Burbank, CA responded first:

We do a fair amount of that workflow. It is not so easy to come up with a number here. First, you have to prep your sequence correctly before sending to Color which can include a lot of “baking in” by exporting elements and reimporting to make them the same codec so that Color is happy.
After that going out to Color takes very little time, but you do have to render everything at the end before returning to FCP. So you will need as much addition al storage space as your entire show plus handles in whatever codec you are using.
At this point, any changes you want to make require bouncing out to Color, rendering, and coming back again.  If you don’t have external panels, you are greatly slowed down by trying to handle everything via mouse which limits you to one operation at a time. If you have access to a classically trained Colorist, he will be able to fly through the color correction process with the proper setup. If you treat the whole thing like the classic tape based daVinci approach, it makes more sense. Send a locked master to Color, and get a color corrected master back for titling.
The workflow is nowhere near as efficient as the Symphony approach, but the toolset is better. Symphony still has the advantage of keeping you in the timeline so you can do more than one thing at the
time. You can also listen to audio for any timing cues you may need. And you have source side correction which is a major timesaver in the hands of someone who knows how to use it.
On the flip side Color has a more powerful toolset and the ability to use the external interfaces I mentioned above.

And then Patrick Inhofer of Fini in NYC added a great follow up:

RE: Storage Space
Color re-renders all your shots and then generates an XML that’ll link to those newly rendered shots in a timeline in FCP. So… multiply the per second data rate of the codec you’re exporting out of Color times the number of seconds of your timeline. That’ll give you your additional storage needs.
RE: Time to round-trip
Are you wondering how much longer the prep for Color roundtrip takes? Anywhere from 2 – 12 hours, depending how much prep work you need to do (baking in speed ramps, removing 3WCC filters, simplifying timelines, media managing, etc).
If you’re wondering how long it takes to color correct a show in Color? When I was mouse-only, about 15 minutes of show content a day in a not-too-fast-paced sequence. With a control surface, double that. With a control surface not only will you double your throughput, you’ll find you can also get more in-depth in forming the image with masks, curves, hue curves, etc. A control surface is one of those rare exceptions where you get more done in less time with better results.
I didn’t chime in on the thread (too busy with work at the time), but I would offer up a couple points of emphasis and additions from my experiences (click my friend above for a link to my blog post describing the posting of Travel Channel’s America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions 3).
First of all, you cannot underestimate overestimate how long it will take to conform your project for Color.  Offline to online workflow time aside, there are many ways to conform your timeline so that it will work well with Color and how you choose to do this will effect how you grade your show.  Do you want to first send all of your speed effects to Motion to take advantage of motion blur?  Do you want to make individual sequences to grade footage with picture in picture (or windowed) effects?
My number one recommendation is to shed all color correction filters and export a self contained quicktime of your entire show (or individual acts) and go from there.  Obviously I could really get into the weeds on this, so I won’t.  I’m sure you’re getting the idea.
Secondly, take a look at the show you’re going to grade ahead of time.  The above timeline averaged approximately 125 shots per 4 minutes, or even more approximately  1375 shots for a 44min show.  With slightly fuzzy math, at a 1min-per-graded-shot pace, you’re looking at almost 23 hours to plow through it all (3×8 hour days or 2×12 hour days).  And then you get to render it out.
I never had the luxury of a using control surface on either of the 44min shows I graded for Travel Channel.  Scott Simmons wrote a great review of the Tangent Wave and Patrick Inhofer wrote a great review of the JL Cooper Eclipse CX.  I’ve personally met with the guys at Euphonix and they seem to have a great product with the MC Color but I haven’t got my hands on it to test it out yet.  Mr. Inhofer summed up best the advantage of using a surface, stating:
a typical session [speeding up] from 2-5 days down to 1-3 days…
Price points and form factors aside, it seems that adding a control surface should a) increase your speed and quality and b) up your rate.  Remember: “fast, good, cheap; pick two.”
Personally, not having seen a show, I start my color correction quote at 5 days for a 1 hour show and then we go from there.  That includes conform, grade, and render.  I do work remotely, so if I can help you out drop me a line.
proactively • grading • peter
03
Dec
09

proactively disclosing

Shane Ross over at Little Frog in High Def brought this Boston Globe article to my attention.  In the interest of total transparency, based on my own personal principles (of all things), I’d like to come clean about all the items I’ve received for free to review products on this blog: zero, with one exception.

After writing about finalcutprotemplates.com from a link on Mark Spencer’s blog, I thought they were so awesome I blogged about them.  I thought “Hey, what a great way to learn about building 3D templates.  Just buy these and *presto* you’ve got project files to build off of and learn from.” After the fact, finalcutprotemplates.com sent me a free copy of their drop zones volume 1 as a thank you.  I thought this was pretty cool.  Unfortunately, my bevy of free 5dmarkii video tutorials have not inspired Canon to send me a complimentary 5D as a thank you.  Have they helped sell some cameras?  Maybe.  From what I’ve heard, they’ve helped people who have bought the cameras learn how to work with the footage.  And seeing a video that someone made better after watching my tutorials is the best thank you I can get.

The Boston Globe article has some good quotes in defense of bloggers receiving complimentary stuffs to review.  Since my brother was formerly in radio, Ryan Spaulding’s rhetoric particularly piqued my interest:

Ryan Spaulding of Malden, who launched Ryan’s Smashing Life music blog (rslblog.com) in 2006, has no intention of complying, arguing that free CDs and show tickets are the tools of his trade.  “I don’t look at it as payment,’’ Spaulding says. “It’s what it takes to get the job done.’’

And while I’m sympathetic to Ryan’s plight of needing to actually listen to the music before reviewing it, I believe there is intrinsic value in the audiophile who reviews after having purchased the music himself, as a consumer, as you or I would need to do it.  Otherwise, your listening to the opinion of an insider who is motivated by swag or other compensation to continue reviewing goods and services.  Ever hear of journalistic integrity?

I much more value the opinion of someone who forked over their hard earned cash to find out “Yes, the Euphonix MC Color is worth the 30 rounds of golf I did not play in order to purchase it,” or “I pawned my Tag Hauer for this Matrox MXO and at least my watch worked” are good examples of reviews I personally value. But I digress.  The Boston Globe article concludes:

The bottom line? Readers need to understand the relationship between a reviewer and the company whose products are being reviewed.

Couldn’t agree more.  So from here on out, if, or when, I receive any complimentary stuffs to write about or as thank yous for an already written review, I’ll tell you.  Up front.  Otherwise, you can trust that I spent the hard earned cash to deliver you a hard earned review.

proactively • you can take that to the bank • peter

23
Jul
09

fcs3 highlights

FCS3

By now you’ve probably heard the news that Final Cut Studio 3 has dropped.  Very cooly, Ripple Training has already produced 19 free video tutorials from Apple Certified Trainers to help you get to know the FCS 3 upgrade.  Two of my T3 trainers, Mark Spencer and Alexis Van Hurkman, helped produce these so definitely check them out!

If you simply want to know what’s new click here, otherwise here’s my very quick highlights with linkage:

fcp 7

As you can read below, ProRes gets a few more mouths to feed in its family and even has options for offline workflows (wow, is offlining coming back in style?).

expanded prores family

For the full rundown get the ProRes white paper here.

43 safe

I was just working on a prject yesterday where we were superimposing a screengrab of 4:3 safe on a 16:9 HD timeline.  As more and more projects utilize legacy SD footage in an HD show it’s great to know that this simple yet very important feature has been added.

iChat Theater

This would have been awesome to use on the first season’s production of Sailing Channel Theater episodes and we’ll certainly use it in the future.  Our previous workflow was to turn Skype on the MacBook Pro and face it to the computer monitor so Dad and Jon could do remote viewing as I made final tweaks to the show.  Cool to see this is now integrated into FCP 7 andcan’t wait to try it out!

color 1.5

The number one Color update is fricking incredible and will literally shave hours if not full days off your color grade.

seamless roundtripping

No more futzing with your speed effects, still moves (with handles for dissolves!), and multicam clips in order to get them ready to send to Color.  Thank you version 1.5!

Secondly and very importantly, Apple has announced a new line of affordable third party control surfaces specifically designed to work with Color.

affordable control surfaces

Could I please stop mousing my way through Color and get some affordable surfaces to speed up my workflow?!  And thanks to Eddie Sullivan’s post on the FCP-L I was able to find a pic of the new Euphnix MC Color.

euphonix mc color

motion 4

It looks like Motion is getting much more full 3D-ish.  Shadows, reflections, and depth of field… oh my!  Click on the pic to get all the info you want.

more 3dish

Even more excitingly is the major placement of a new product I had never heard of before.

3d connexion

What an awesome looking mouse!  Exactly the kind of intuitive device that makes navigating in 3D space treasure, not a toruture.  I guess Apple is doing it’s part to stimulate the economy by allowing third party manufacturers to cash in on their product launches.  I bet Logitech’s stock jumps a few points today.

compressor 3.5

Curiously, Blu-ray dvd creation is listed under Compressor’s new features.

bluray disc burning

Hey, as long as it’s in the box I could care less what product does it.  Maybe this is an attempt to phase out people’s asociation with DVD Studio Pro as a delivery app?  Who knows.

Anywho, hope you enjoyed these highlights.  I’m sure there will be much more to come here in the days to follow with additional info, opinion, and general blather.

proactively • upgraded • peter




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